Detox About UAV Mapping or What You Can Really Expect From It
Since now half a decade, UAV mapping invaded the world of geomatics, promising to solve almost any problem at low cost. Business expanded drastically, faster than flight regulations, and promises were pushed hard by numerous emerging drone manufacturers and “new generation software” surfing on the UAV “wave”. The fact is now that you can oftenly see in UAV advertising that you can achieve sub-centimetric accuracy level with photogrammetric UAV. Probably those people have never read a manual of photogrammetry and, voluntarily or by ignorance, mix resolution and accuracy.
It is now time to bring back users to reality and explain what we can expect from UAV mapping.
This paper intends to show, through practical experiments the mapping performance of several UAV using 3 types of UAV: Wingtra with Sony QX1 camera, RTK Ebee and custom Hexacopter equipped with Velodyne Pucklite LiDAR and Sony A6000 camera. To establish comparison, we flew a varied terrain field with vegetation, constructed areas, powerlines and cultures the same day. Levelled Ground control and check points and a reference data set composed of high resolution heliborne LiDAR (50pt/m2) with Phaseone 100Mpix imagery serve as base for comparison.
The analysis focuses first on Aerial triangulation performance of different software (new and old school) and residuals to check points (not only on GCP’s), and thus on dense matching performance (comparison with reference LiDAR).